MEMPHIS: The struggling Brooklyn Nets seized a much-needed NBA victory Saturday with a 97-88 triumph over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Brook Lopez, in his second game back from an ankle injury, took charge in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the final period to help the Nets seal the win.
Lopez, who was sidelined for seven games, added nine rebounds, Joe Johnson scored 27 points and Andray Blatche chipped in 21 for the Nets, who showed renewed energy in bouncing back from a 114-95 loss at Houston on Friday.
Coach Jason Kidd benched most of his starters for the entire second half of that game, but Brooklyn came out strong against the Grizzlies, taking a 48-37 halftime lead and thwarting Memphis’ efforts to rally.
“Some of us, man, we have to look in the mirror,” Johnson said of the Nets’ early season struggles. They had lost seven of the previous eight games.
“As the coaching staff said, they don’t think we’re giving it our all or we’re not playing hard. Everybody has to check themselves.”
Quincy Pondexter scored for 20 of his 22 points in the final 13 minutes, but it wasn’t enough for the Grizzlies.
Mike Conley had 16 points and 10 assists in the defeat, Memphis’s third in their last four games.